February 28, 2010

Yee Sang @ Sushi Zanmai, Happy Chap Goh Mei!

Well... 15 days of CNY celebrations are about to end...

Hope that everyone had enjoyed their CNY! Hope you folks have a Happy Chap Goh Mei with friends and family!

Anyway, just to share with you a 鱼生 of a different variety from Sushi Zanmai...


May the Year of the Tiger bring you and your family, health, wealth, happiness and joy!!!

February 23, 2010

Lights Lights @ I-City, Shah Alam

I've been a bit lazy to blog lately. Well, I've been busy editing photos & uploading them in various places. In fact, I still owe some folks their beautiful photos too... :)

Anyway, I did squeeze in some time to hang out with some ex-colleagues @ I-City during the weekend. It was a spur of the moment thing where we just agreed to go and explore the place.

Now that I've posted some photos up in Facebook, my other photographer kaki want to go there and shoot too. Most of them are Nikon kaki & own the beautiful D90... So, that means that I can keep my little Canon 450D in my dry cabinet at home-la... Kekeke..


I was surprised that I-City has put up alot of LED lights on display. Initially, I had thought the light display was limited to a small park near the office buildings.


Fellow blogger Che-Cheh blogged about the Christmas lights @ I-City and ever since then, I had been curious about the place. When my ex-colleague mentioned that they had put up something for CNY, she suggested we go have a look.


We arrived just around sunset as we thought it would be a great time to take photos. True enough, it was fantastic! I'm glad that I brought my 50mm lens and the flash gun as I needed it for the night photos later.

I was lazy to bring my tripod as it is such a pain to setup and carry around. So, most of my shots were done by hand holding the camera.


If you walk around the I-City, you would find that the management has setup a small exhibit just by the multi-story carpark. There were loads of people around and so, sensing that it was getting pretty late, we left by around 9pm.

Surprisingly, we were lucky to experience good weather that evening as it had been raining earlier during the day. So, we felt a cool breeze as we walked around the exhibits.

Getting to I-City is easy. There are road signs to guide you on your way.

If you're coming from PJ, there are 2 options you can take:

1. Take the Federal Highway and go towards Klang. Keep left as you see the sign "Padang Jawa" and I-City. The signs will lead you to I-City.

2. Take the NKVE and exit off Bukit Raja. You will need to do some sort of U-turn to head to I-City. Not to worry, there are signs to lead you there.

Anyway, best to google for the map or head to I-City's website for the location map.

Have fun!!

February 20, 2010

Pun Choi @ Room Eighteen, Tropicana City

It was the 2nd day of CNY and so, I was "free" to go out and visit friends and do our usual "stuff" - eat, drink, and play....ma*****... ;-)

EV and I had time to kill and so, decided to have lunch. Our other friends were not free and since she was alone, we both had lunch together-la.

We were surprised to find Room Eighteen open when most of the shops were closed. We've eaten at this place before and I had decided that the next time I come, I'll come with my camera...


After we ordered our food, the waitress came with a complimentary salad which stirred up our appetite. The only thing which I didn't quite like was the Thousand Island-like sauce but it complimented the items in the salad.


I do like the 炸两 or "zaa leong" which is fried dough fritters wrapped in rice flour noodles. This is a sinful dish because it combines the unhealthy deep-fried dough fritters with starchy rice flour noodles and salty soy sauce for dipping. I've been searching for this dish in KL ever since I was introduced to it in Australia in a Chinese restaurant.


Another side-dish we ordered was the infamous 小龙包 which funnily tastes very similar to the Dragon-i's recipe although the dough done by Room Eighteen is slightly thicker.


Finally.. Our main meal arrived which was the 盆菜 or "pun choi". This dish is enough for 2-3 persons and it is pricey at RM33++ a bowl. However, the bowl is full of meat, vegetables, "fatt choi", plump mushrooms and lots of meat (again!).

EV has not tried this before and I've eaten "pun choi" several times with some friends a long time ago. The one I've tried was at Low Yat where we had to order 1 day in advance as it takes a lot of time to prepare for it!

Anyway, I like this dish as the flavour changes as you eat through each layer of item in the bowl. In Hong Kong, 盆菜 is commonly cooked for CNY and other special occasions.

Note that it would take around 15-25minutes for the preparation of the dish as it needs to be steamed individually. So, in that time, you can order a few other side dishes to vet your appetite. ;-)

I don't recall if this is a limited offer but if you're interested in 盆菜, do go over to Room Eighteen to try it out before the New Year is over...

February 19, 2010

Lion Doing Acrobatics @ 1Utama

I wonder if any of you folks have caught the Thai Lion Dance troupe in action at 1Utama this year but the performance was pretty fantastic!

The performance started off really good with some small kids performing some acrobatics and it was impressive.


The pole is quite high which was about 1 and a half stories high. Quite nerve-wrecking for folks who are scared of heights...


The lion dancers really are agile & strong to be able to carry the lion's head up the pole as the rest of the troupe stabilizes it.


Both dancers balanced themselves on top of the pole which is no wider than 8-inches across! Once they stabilized, the troupe below slowly moved the pole so that it sways back and forth. Looking down from above, I was afraid that the acrobats might fall off!

There was no cushions or mattresses below...

Watching the troupe in action is something quite different from the usual lion dance fare. Certainly, 1Utama did their bit in bringing in the CNY cheer this Year of the Tiger!

February 17, 2010

I Saw Some Cats & Lions But No Tigers...

恭喜发财! Hope that everyone is enjoying their CNY so far...

I'd guess by now everyone would have visited most of the shopping malls and have been blown away by the sheer amount of decorations that was put up.

EV was particularly excited with the giant Lucky Cats of 1Utama. She had pestered me about it for a while. So, I was put to work once we arrived there...


I would have to say that the decorations were impressive. The cats arms could move and in typical lucky cat fashion, beckoned prosperity and luck to flow to the shops and subsequently owner of the mall. ;-)

There were plenty of cats to go around the new wing of 1Utama and I managed to take loads of pictures of them. However, I was more impressed by the cultural shows the mall has arranged as part of the Chinese New Year celebrations.


There was a lion dance performed by a local Malaysian troupe. The acrobatics were fantastic!! As a kid, I used to play the lion dance with the neighbours and we had a ball of a time. While watching the lions in action, it is no wonder that the Malaysian troupes are a fierce competitor in the annual lion dance competitions held in Genting Highlands.


It's strange that whenever I watch the lion dance being performed, I get that happy sense that Chinese New Year is in the air. The sense that I can hang out with my relatives and friends during the few days off is something I look forward to every year.


I think the kids enjoy watching the lion dance more than the adults. I have no doubt that by the time they get home, they would have tried out some of the acrobatic stunts with their friends or siblings. Kekeke... I used to jump up and down the beds with my sister and cousins too pretending to be a lion dance performer.


However, one biiiigggg part of the CNY festivities has left me feeling particularly nostalgic. The fireworks or firecrackers... or, the absence of it.

I'm sure the slightly more matured folks amongst us would recall a time when we would spend nearly most of our pocket money on fireworks, firecrackers, pop-pop and other items to satisfy our inner pyromaniacs. No lion dance was complete without the firecrackers being set off.

I recall times during my childhood when we would not be able to sleep as people would set off the firecrackers at midnight to ring in the arrival of the 财神. There were "competitions" as to whose firecrackers would burn the loudest and longest, i.e. to signify the amount of money luck to come in the new year.


Anyway, those days are gone. Now, we are contented to listening to the electrical version of the firecrackers going off from the decorative firecrackers hung in our homes. I'm sure that in the kampung, firecrackers are being lit. ;-)

1Utama did have a few more interesting shows, including the one performed by the Thai troupe which I will post in my next blog entry.

Meanwhile, have a great CNY!!!

February 13, 2010

Happy Woo Hoo Year of Tiger!


Hope that everyone will have a fantastic reunion dinner with family and friends tonite!

Here's wishing that the Year of the Tiger will be a ROAARRRRIINNGG success and happiness for everyone!!!

1, 2, 3....



February 12, 2010

Reunion Dinner @ Spring Garden, MidValley Megamall

It was a crazy time during the reunion dinner with my ex-colleagues last week.

There was so much drinking and eating that we just drove away most of the customers in the restaurant.. LOL!!

Just kidding... In fact, we usually book a private room for our reunion 收工 dinner but this time round, they wanted to charge us RM200 extra for it!! So, we declined and opted to have our dinner in the regular open area.

The restaurant was quiet and we were glad. A couple of years back we had to share our dinner with a wedding in another restaurant. It wasn't good because the kitchen had to hold back a couple of dishes due to the wedding party, which meant that the last 3 dishes were just rushed out to us!


After the "lou sang" was over, the waiter quickly served the 1st dish which was meat. That made all of us happy as we had to wait a long time for the rest of the party to arrive from various parts of KL/PJ.


The next dish was succulent tofu. This dish would go very well with rice as it has plenty of sauce and flavour. Yum!


No reunion dinner is complete without anything "live" and this meant that we had our steamed fish. I love fish steamed in this manner as you can taste the sweetness of the fish.


The vegetable dish wasn't quite so vegetarian as the dish had some chinese bacon cooked together with it. This dish can easily be too salty due to the extra chinese bacon but the restaurant managed to balance the flavours out.


For future "哈哈" or joy, we had our crispy prawn in salted egg yolks. This happens to be my bro-in-law's favourite dish whenever he goes to King Crab. So far, only King Crab seems to have done it right! :-)


Finally, for dessert we had the infamous duet dessert... The "woh peng" and "tong yuen". Both were not too sweet and so, I could have some of it.

All in all, we enjoyed the food, fun & camaraderie with old friends and ex-colleagues. The party this time was smaller than usual, but the warmth was not lost.

I'm looking forward to the open house in the coming week where there'll be more fun with lion dance and more ex-colleagues to catch up with!

Meanwhile, hope everyone will have a safe journey home for your reunion dinner!!

February 10, 2010

First "Lou Sang" for Tiger Wooo Hooo Year!!

"Yee Sang" (鱼生) which literally means "LIVE FISH" (translated from Cantonese) is a typical Chinese New Year dish we folks in Malaysia love to eat once the lunar new year comes around.

This time round, my first Yee Sang was with some ex-colleagues and we celebrated it at Spring Garden, Mid Valley. Every year, our ex-accountant will organize this sumptuous get-together where colleagues past and present are invited to enjoy a "Sao Gong" (收工) dinner just before CNY starts.


The act of "Lou Sang" is quite fun. The higher you "lou", the better your luck will be for the coming new year.


Anyway, the yee sang served at Spring Garden was pretty good. The salmon was fresh and the ingredients are not too sweet.


From the "mess" we made, you can tell that we've got a pretty good year ahead. LOL!! With all the "choi" (财) spilling out, means we expect to be abundantly lucky.... Kekeke... Anyway, it was a mess for the waiter to clean up after us - paiseh... paiseh...

It was a night of lots of "YAAAAAAMMMM SEEEENNNGGGGG" and food. I managed to catch up with some of my old colleagues whom I've not seen for a long while.

Food was great and I'll talk about that in my next post.

Meanwhile... Before I forget, I would like to wish everyone a 恭喜虎年!!!! May the Year of the Tiger be a Wooo Hoo Year for you and your family...

February 04, 2010

Improving My Skills

Yes, it has been a quiet start to February here...

Besides being busy with my twin nieces (who are at such an adorable age now in their "toddlerhood"), I've been going around shooting the various CNY decorations around the malls. Those pictures are not ready yet as it's still stored in my camera. I'm a bit lazy to edit the photos for now.

I've been studying the articles in my photography magazines in a bid to improve my skills and learn how to use the DSLR settings more effectively.

Certainly, I came across a lot of books, articles and online resources and forums to learn about photography but nothing beats having to apply what you've read or learned when you're out there for a shooting session.

I picked up this guide from MPH a couple of weeks back for only RM19.90. It has a lot of great tips for folks who have just picked up their DSLR or pro-sumer cameras. There are some basic principles in the guide to get beginners started, which is useful after you've gone through your camera's manual. ;-)

Since books are a tax-deductible item, I've gotten myself a few books last year... One of the important books I've gotten is the field guide for my camera which is great for me to learn more about my gear to set it accordingly.

I love the book about light by David Prakel as it gives me an idea on how light affects the photos that we take. The pictures in the book are truly inspirational.

Anyway, I still like my online forums and resources (especially PhotoMalaysia), where you get a lot of tips, critiques and advice from the many sifus there.

Meanwhile, I'm still trying to improve my skills so that I will do less editing and more in-camera processing, i.e. setting the camera right before taking a shot. It's not hard when I want to take objects or landscape but when you're at an event, getting the settings right for your camera and flashgun can be quite a challenge!

So... In the spirit of my alma mater's motto - Ancora Imparo (I am still learning)
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